Scarcity of Petroleum Products: Govt has not increase pump price - DPROgbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia

The Abia State Field Office of the Department of Petroleum Resources has revealed that the current scarcity of Petroleum products in the South Eastern states was not as a result of increase in the official pump price by the Federal Government.

Our reporter who monitored the  scarcity of petroleum products in Umuahia, the Abia State capital on Tuesday, reports that the situation which started last weekend has seen many Filling stations without the products while those who have the product sold at N220 for PMS,(Fuel) while Kerosene sold at N300 per liter.

The Operations Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in the State, Engineer Emmanuel Okoro, who described the situation as worrisome, said it was due to the solidarity strike embarked upon by the Zone's branch of NUPENG for its member who is allegedly involved in a legal matter with Imo State Government, even though there is enough products at the Osisioma Depot today 

He added that efforts were being made by the Stakeholders to resolve the situation, with over Fourteen Million(14m) Litres of Petroleum Products at the Isisioma Depot in the State, noting that the DPR is more of a business enabler than a regulator.

He said, "Alhough there is enough PMS at the Osisioma Depot which is the major Depot that supplies petroleum products to the whole of South East zone at this time (there is over 14 milliion litres there at the moment), but due the strike by NUPENG, the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) are not allowed to load products from the depot. 

"So what that means is that only the  products remaining at the filling stations which are the last point of sales to the  consumer, are available for the consumer to buy.

"Due to the ongoing strike, the products has dwindled and given room to the present scarcity and the Marketers have taken advantage of that to  increase the pump price" 

He regretted that Marketers have taken advantage of the situation to hike the pump price, a situation which has increased panic purchasing, but assured that before the end of the week, the issue is expected to be resolved and then the petrol tanker drivers would start lifting petroleum products from Osisioma depot and bringing in products from other Depots into the South East.

He urged residents of the State not to panic stating that we have over 14 miillion  litres of PMS at the Osisioma Depot and as such the situation would not translate to a national pump price increase".

He related the current scarcity of  Cooking Gas in the State to the solidarity strike by NUPENG while assuring that normalcy would return after the issue at stake is resolved. 

Meanwhile,the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association Nigeria (IPMAN), Osisioma Depot Branch, Abia State has called on the  South East Governors to urgently intervene into the lingering scarcity of petroleum products within the zone and to find an amicable way of settling the issue between the NUPENG and Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma.

IPMAN in a release signed by the Branch Chairman, Prince Bobby Eberechi Dick, said the failure of the State Governors to intervene in the situation would further worsen the economic situation in the zone.

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